It appears that the past week of “cold” weather will serve as our winter this year. Fine with me, bring on the heat!
Unfortunately, in terms of beer, spring seems to be the most lacking season of them all. Next to “what is local,” “what is seasonal” is another main question in bars these days.
Summertime boasts fun, fruity wheat beers like Lost Coast Tangerine and of course everyone’s personal favorite, Sea Witch Watermelon Wheat. These styles are refreshingly crisp and sure to cool us off on a hot summer day. When the leaves fall, oktoberfests, pumpkin ales, and nutty browns come out. Before we know it, winter has arrived and there is a huge variety of warming seasonals including imperial chocolate stouts, big IPAs, barley wines, and ambers with spices of cinnamon and nutmeg.
It seems that each season has a distinct and desirable style of beer. Except for spring, which leaves much to be desired. If I had to pin down a particular style, I would associate the season with pilsners and kolschs. As the BeerAdvocate brothers say, it is important to acknowledge the style of a beer and be able to appreciate a good pilsner for what it is. Pilsners, too, can be crisp and well-made (it’s hard for me to say this). But they can’t possibly live up to the styles of the other seasons. When I think of spring, I think seas of colorful, blooming flowers and bright green grass. Cliché, I know. But, I would like to see seasonal craft beers correspond to this. Floral IPAs, earthy and grassy hop notes, and bright citrus notes would be ideal. One particular beer that comes to mind, though not technically a ‘spring seasonal,’ is Terrapin’s So Fresh & So Green Green. The name is perfect, as is the beer for the time of year. All in all, specialty pale ales and IPAs should go ahead and claim spring-time, thus allowing every season one to look forward to in the craft beer world.